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Understanding open and closed adoptions

If you hope to adopt a child, you will eventually need to decide which style of adoption you wish to use as you grow your family. In general, parents may use either an open adoption, which allows parents greater flexibility to keep a birth family accessible to an adopted child, or a closed adoption, which provides greater privacy to families who do not wish to keep those lines of relationship open.

Most modern adoptions in America are open adoptions. This means that the birth parent of a child may remain in contact with the adoptive family, and may even remain in contact with the adoptive child at various points in the child's upbringing. Some parents see this as a healthy way to encourage the child to understand his or her own history and use it as an opportunity to self-discovery.

However, some parents find that an open adoption leaves too many opportunities for miscommunication or complicated relationship dynamics, so they choose a closed adoption. Under a closed adoption, most records of the adoption itself remain sealed, although adoptive children and parents who give up a child to a closed adoption can sometimes unseal these records if they go to great lengths to do so.

If you are ready to begin building your family, an experienced family law attorney can help. Whether you choose to use an open or closed adoption, you are offering a wonderful life to a child who dearly needs a second chance while building your own hopes and dreams for the family you love.

Source: FindLaw, "Open vs. Closed Adoption," accessed Dec. 22, 2017

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